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Harder and Steenbeck: Colani Airbrush


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Colani Airbrush

Harder and Steenbeck
Item # 124003
Available in the Netherlands for €207. For dealers around the world, please click
this link for further information.




When it comes to airbrushes I’m not to type to experiment. I own three airbrushes but always seem to fall back on my venerable trusty Tamiya trigger airbrush. The trigger enables me total control over the amount of paint I let through. I’m left handed, but not consistent. I’ll explain: I draw and write and airbrush with my left hand, but cut with scissors and use a computer mouse with my right hand. As a member of the local gun club I shoot right handed too. This means that my trigger finger is on my right hand. And the best control is on my left hand. The Tamiya trigger airbrush however seems to fit me best. So when I was handed this ergonomic Colani airbrush I was a bit sceptic. 




In the box:

• nozzle 0.4 mm

• color cup with lid 15 ml

• universal spanner

• two hand distance rings

• additional integrated air connection for ultra-fine work



The design

Looking at this airbrush gives you the feel like it was left by a Klingon after the shooting of a Star Trek episode. Purple plastic and a visible free floating needle. This airbrush was designed 50 years ago by Luigi Colani. It really makes the airbrush fit your hand like a glove. The back part can rotate, making the fit even more adaptive. The distinctive single action trigger on top can be taken out and turned around so a lefty like me can use it. (See special tool that removes the trigger screw below.)




This was the first thing I did. Still I sensed I lacked a bit of control like I have with a single trigger. Not knowing how to fix this, I visited my local airbrush store: Airbrush Services Almere. As a matter of fact the owner of the store was fixing a Colani airbrush when I walked in. I asked him for some pointers and advice. He told me the most important thing in getting control over the trigger is to add the „hand distance rings” that come with the airbrush. It’s important that your trigger finger is fully stretched when resting on the trigger. This gives you maximum control. In my case this meant adding both rings.




The Colani airbrush is fitted with a fast coupling for the air hose. So that was another reason I needed to visit the Airbrush store. I bought one for € 14,50. Quite a practical little item I had not used before. No more unscrewing the air hose from my airbrush in the middle of a paint job causing… a mess. Just pull back the ring on the fast coupling to detach the air hose. So the below shown quick release coupling is not included with the set.




What also strikes on this airbrush is the enormous 15 ml paint cup. I will never ever have the need to fill this up completely, so I bought a smaller 5 ml cup (€ 9,90). 


The large paint cup gives away a little on the characteristic of this airbrush. With it’s 0,4 mm needle it’s not specially suited to spray those really thin fine lines. This brush is great for spraying larger camo areas and middle fine work. But! It can be fitted with a 0,2 mm needle. For that you need to change the nozzle too. Or, if you need to spray larger areas you can get a needle set in sizes: 0,6 mm / 0,8 mm / 1,0 mm and even 1,2 mm. As a matter of fact many accessories can be added or changed on this airbrush. And that’s a great plus. 





I’ve used this airbrush for the main part of my latest build now. A Luftwaffe subject with mottled pattern. The type of pattern that demands a fine airbrush. I managed to get fairly thin lines in the first run. About 2,5 mm across. You can adjust the amount of air that is let through, before it shoots paint with the tool that comes with the airbrush. (See photo below.)






I discovered that I could probably use this airbrush for about 90% of my work. Just great. And when I buy the extra 0,2 mm needle set, I might be able to use it for all of my work. It might not be needed, since I was also told you can spray even finer lines with a 0,4 mm needle when removing the crown cap (shown on the right, in the photo below.)





The cleaning of this airbrush is quite simple too because of the free floating needle that can be immediately removed by unscrewing the tightening screw. My Tamiya airbrush is much more difficult to open up and clean properly. With the special tool the Colani comes with you can easily remove the trigger and virtually reach every nook and cranny of the brush. If you shoot very thinned Gunze paints like me, you can normally clean this brush by shooting some thinner/terpentine or Aceton till it’s clean. Then remove the needle and wipe it. 





This airbrush has deserved it’s merits over the years. It’s in use by a wide range of industries and modelers all over the world. A huge range of accessories and spare/replacement parts are at it’s disposal. The typical german quality of materials and fabrication can be felt straight away. And the results of my first run with it are superb. Everything you should expect from an airbrush of this brand and price range. 


If you are not a huge fan of the standard double action button/lever airbrushes, this might just be a great option. If you have a good airbrush store in your area, ask if you can test one. If I had done so, I would have bought it :)


Very highly recommended (for the quarter and large scale modeler)



With sincere thanks to Harder & Steenbeck for this review sample.


See this link for dealers around the world.


or you can get yours here:



Jeroen Peters

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Excellent review. Looks to be very adaptable. Just try finer test lines with that crown cap removed.


What I am worries about is your fine control is on your left hand, yet you shoot guns with your right. Remind me to stand well back from you in future.  :rolleyes:

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How would this one be better (or not?) than their Infinity or Evolution models?

Well... The Evolution uses a total different dual action push/pull button. As does the Infinity. When mastered these airbrushes will give you better control. I'm sure. 

Better? I don't think so. It's just matter of personal preference. Easier to use and clean? Yes.


Check this Colani out:


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